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4-H Youth Development

Communication & Cultural Skill Development Events

4-H Community Conversations Youth Citizen Open Forum

4-H Community Conversations offer youth citizens the opportunity to join together to deliberate in an open forum, to make choices with others about ways to approach difficult issues and have tough conversations to work toward creating reasoned public judgment for the common good. Forums focus on a youth issue such as health, safety, violence, education, drugs and alcohol abuse, bullying, rural and urban issues, and much more. The forums provide a way for youth of diverse views and experiences to seek a shared understanding of the problem and to search for common ground for action. 

Mian is a student from Riley County and has participated in Community Conversations through Kansas 4-H.  Check out her video below, introducing the idea of community conversations, why they are different from debate, and how to facilitate these conversations ( with a nod to the ICDD Principles of Civic Discourse). You can watch Mian's presentation below.

Mian was also trained this year as a Youth Facilitator in Community Conversations through a partnership project with 4-H and her school. The Youth Facilitators served as leaders in many forums and she believed they could use a t-shirt logo to identify their role in the deliberation process. She thoroughly enjoyed the experience as a Youth Leader while growing in confidence, communication, and leadership. Although this was her first time designing a logo, she was delighted to offer her graphic design talent to support the important mission of the collaborative project. This logo visually represents the Youth Facilitator's role, to facilitate communication between people by finding common ground when discussing complex issues. Mian has demonstrated how Youth Leaders can take an idea and put it into action.

Forums are led by trained, neutral moderators who present the overall problem and then three or four approaches to working through the problem. Youth forum participants work through the issue by considering each approach; examining what appeals to them or concerns them, and also what the costs, consequences, and trade-offs may be that would be incurred in following that approach.

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